City Slang: "Pawn Shoppe Heart" revisited

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A few weeks ago, I wrote one of these “revisited” pieces about the Suicide Machines’ Steal This Record album, and the fact that it has never been considered cool by the band’s hardcore fan base, and perhaps even by the band themselves, though it helped to spread the notoriety of the machines around the globe.

Much the same can be said about Pawn Shoppe Heart. I have to be honest – I love the Von Bondies. I don’t care if that makes me uncool. Christ knows, I’ve never cared about hipster trappings. But this band were really good and, by the time this album came out, they were great.

The secret is in Jason Stollsteimer’s songwriting. Unlike others of the garage explosion, the front-dude is essentially a pop writer, stripping his songs bare. Maybe that’s why they isolated many, but these songs are incredible. Marcie, Carrie and Don played their part too, no doubt about it. For me, this is the best of the Bondies line ups.

The single “C’mon C’mon” really highlights that pop suss. It’s an anthem, a swinging rock ’n’ roll monster straight out of the ‘60s. Stollsteimer could go deep too, as shown by “Broken Man” and “Crawl Through the Darkness”.

Nearly nine years have passed since the release of this album. If you held a grudge back then, let it go now. This album deserves you attention. Then go see the Hound Below.

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